Finally, A Great e3!!!

The last 2 or three e3’s have been more or less disappointing. But at long last, this year was different!

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The first conference I saw was Ubisoft, and they had lots of exciting announcements, most notable the Mario/Rabids crossover known as Mario+Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, which looks awesome, and the completely unique game Skull & Bones. Fans of the Assassin’s Creed series will be excited for the new Egypt based game. See it all here.

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Next up was Sony. There conference was great because there was hardly any talking and they just played trailer after trailer, which makes me wish they just made a video like Nintendo to keep the flow going better.

But anyway, they basically showed the same games they showed at last years e3, but with much longer trailers/gameplay. And this was fine with me, for they showcased a lot of great looking games, most notable for me was Days Gone and the PS4 exclusive Spider-Man. I can’t wait to play those two games! Check it all out here.

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But the most amazing part about e3 by far was Nintendo’s “Spotlight” video presentation. Anyone who said the Switch doesn’t have a lot of software has now been proven wrong. They announced a whole slew of new titles for both this year and next, guaranteeing two years of great games. Yoshi, Kirby, Metroid, Mario will all be making appearances, to name a few. You can check out everything in detail here.

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They are the only ones I saw in detail, but Microsoft revealed a few new games and the brand spanking new, powerful consoles Xbox One X. You can watch the conference here.

It was a great showcase, and I am very excited to be a gamer right now.

Nintendo Is About To Do To The Fighting Genre, What It Did To The Online Shooter

Back in May 2015, Nintendo released a game for the Wii U by the name of Splatoon. This is primarily a 4v4 online shooter, but instead of the main goal being to just kill as many people as possible, your objective is to paint, or “ink” rather, as much of the map as possible with the use of paint buckets, guns, paint brushes and rollers. There are a ton of weapons as well as gear, which boosts your abilities.

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The most unique part is your character can turn into a squid and move quickly through the cover of your own ink. Sounds pretty original, right? Well that’s because it is absolutely one of a kind. And it is easily the most fun online game I have ever played. I hate online shooters, I really do, but the moment I saw this, I couldn’t wait to play it, and I still play it all the time, two years later. It’s unique take on the genre, colorful art style and superb gameplay has really revolutionized the genre in a way.

Now here we are in 2017, the Switch has been released, and on June 16th, we are getting a brand new ip from Nintendo once again. Again it is for a genre I am not very fond of…fighting.

But Nintendo has given this genre their own bit of flair and have produced something that looks to be quite extraordinary, colorful, unique, content packed and extremely addicting. I of course am talking about Arms, the game where a bunch of unique and interesting characters with extendable arms beat the crap out of each other with a wide variety of…boxing glovish things called arms.

Needless to say, nothing has ever been done remotely close to this game, and it looks absolutely amazing. Again, a game in a genre I show little to no interest in has me barely able to contain my excitement! I am sure this is going to be the best fighting game ever, (in my opinion) just as Splatoon is my favorite shooter.

Nintendo just keep proving that they can take any genre, especially ones they really have never dabbled in before and produce something unexpected, unique, and most important of all, fun.

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But don’t take my word for it, especially since the game is not even out yet and I am really just making an awful lot of assumptions. But check out this Nintendo Direct. It will show you practically everything you need to know.

As a bonus, this summer Splatoon 2 is coming out, and that looks to do nothing but take the perfection of the first game and make it better. Be sure to check that out as well!

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DC Comics/LEGO are the Biggest Criminals Ever…

So a while back I was in Walmart and passed by the LEGO aisle and there set up on display was a LEGO Batman: The Movie LEGO set.

REALLY?

So LEGO is selling a LEGO set based off of a movie that is based off of a couple video games that are based off of LEGO sets that are based off of various movies and TV shows that are based off of comic books.

Damn!!! That is a lot of money out of our pockets, if you happen to purchase all this stuff, which I imagine only supreme Batman lovers do.

Final Fantasy VI: One of the Greatest Games of All Time?

Continuing on with my marathon of Final Fantasy, I have just beaten number 6 and thought it also worthy to comment on.

For most of my life, I have heard that this is one of the best games of all time, and most people claim this one or Final Fantasy VII as the best in the series. Sure enough, if you look at best games of all time lists, FFVI will likely be at least in the top 20, and for best SNES game lists (as Final Fantasy 3), it will be in the top 5, if not the top 3.

So, you would think I would go into this game with incredibly high expectations. But don’t worry, I treated this like most any movie or game I play…meaning I went in with no expectations…well if anything, they were probably a little low judging by what I think of all the games prior.

What I found was that I was right in not expecting much. The game is mediocre, like the rest of them, and I certainly wouldn’t put it anywhere near “best games of anything.” And yeah, VII is way better. And VII isn’t even my favorite.

But that is not to say that this game was bad though. It was just okay. First let me mention what the game does well.

All the games prior to this one followed a basic format. Walk around on the world map, go to towns, then to some dungeon or cave or castle, fight stuff and kill something or find something, rinse and repeat. While this game does that as well, it doesn’t feel like it. All the environments are very varied and fun to traverse through. The environments just look great and don’t give the game a boring, repetitive feel like some of the others did. In terms of scenery and setting, yes this game is by far the best out of the first 6 games.

They also relaxed a bit on random encounters, making it bearable to walk around in this game. This is a huge plus for me. And what’s more, they even let up on the unbelievably annoying, and seemingly constant status effects. So, in other words, the gameplay is the best I’ve seen so far as well, well except for maybe FF4.

Honestly, through most of the game, it is pretty fun and a solid game overall. I like how the story dictated what characters you could use about half of the time, instead of just picking four of the 14 possible characters and just using them throughout the entire game like a lot of RPG’s do. The story itself started out interesting, but then it just kind of stopped halfway through the game and turned out to be not so great.

I like how every character could learn any spell by equipping the summons. That was a nice touch.

The best addition to this game is the fact that you keep all your experience if you die. You will start at the last time you saved like all the other games, but this time you kept all that hard earned experience, making it easier to ensure you aren’t always underleveled.

So yeah, not a terrible game. But here is what kind of ruined it for me. Instead of having annoying status effects all the time, this game loved putting in enemies that would counterattack after you killed them. This became quite annoying, as these counters were generally very strong. There is even one part where you only have one character in your party, and when you kill a certain enemy, it countered by casting a spell that turns you into stone. In other words, that’s an instant game over. That is just cheap and/or horrible game design! You shouldn’t be able to find yourself in that kind of situation! And towards the end of the game there are enemies that when killed, instantly kill one of your party members. Why? You just wind up running from them, because you typically fight two of them along with another enemy. It is not worth using the items or magic it cost to revive two characters that are guaranteed to die. This should not be in the game. It doesn’t bring any challenge to the game, it is just an annoying, cheap, unfair way of inconveniencing the player. But you can’t have a Final Fantasy game without those factors involved, it seems!

 

And speaking of death after battle, there is a spell that puts a timer on one of your characters, usually about 30 seconds. When it drops to 0, that person is dead. But you would think that when you defeated all the enemies in that battle that the counter would stop. But no, it doesn’t. After killing the enemies, the amount of gold, experience and any items you get all show up one at a time, and that counter is still going, so if you take too long to read your rewards or if the counter is very low at the end of the battle, you can count on having to revive the character after the battle.

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Another issue with this game is the frame rate during battles. It just randomly slows down badly, often messing up my timing and so many times I’ve used the wrong attack or targeted the wrong thing because the game was too busy sucking to register my button inputs.

But all that is tolerable. What really killed me was the end of the game. As a child, in every RPG, I would switch out all the characters and level them all equally, only to find that towards the end, I was horribly underleveled and had to grind four characters to make them adequate enough to beat the game. So after falling into this trap a whole lot of times, I learned to just pick four characters from the get go, and things got a whole lot easier. It turns out, for FF6, I would have been better off playing this game as a child. For the last area of the game, without any warning or chance to back out and prepare, you have to choose 12 of the 14 characters and split them up into three groups. Most of the characters were within 5 levels of each other thanks to the story having you always using different characters, but most of the time I used the same 4, who were much, much, much stronger than the rest. So now I had to divide them up to carry my weaker members. But I didn’t know this was going to happen, so everyone had crappy gear, didn’t know many useful spells, and were slightly underleveled. I also never got a chance to buy a bunch of items to keep me alive.

So what did I have to do? I had to unequip all the characters I wasn’t using and equip the group I was using with the best possible stuff I had. Thank goodness I never sold any equipment, for some members were stuck with old crappy weapons, but this was better than having none at all.

To make matters worse, the strength of your enemies seemed to have tripled. These fights would have been easy with my A-Team, but now they were downright difficult. The game doesn’t give you enough magic points to use any offensive spells, you had to save it all for healing, and I barely had enough to do that. My saving grace throughout the whole game were 3 items that allowed you to equip two weapons and double attack on each round. So yeah, I beat the entire game more or less just using physical attacks. It was cool.

But anyway, after dying a bunch of times, they eventually all grew a few levels thanks to keeping your XP when you die. Once I finally reached the end of one section, I had to unequip all my weapons, armor, relics and summons, so that they would be available for the next group, then painstakingly equip it all on them. So I just kept moving on, fighting a bunch of bosses with my three underleveled/undergeared groups and somehow managed to eventually beat it. I progressed through the game fairly quickly and easily, but I was in the last area for around 4 hours before I conquered it. The worst part is there is a long boring scene before the last boss that you can’t skip. The first time I fought him, I didn’t know what I was doing, because all your characters might have to fight him, so I ended up fighting him with all completely unequipped characters and died immediately. Then I had to watch the long boring scene again, and lose to the boss again. After the second failure, I understood what was going on, and after once again watching the long boring scene, I went all out and beat him. By the end of it, I was sick of the game.

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But they had one more great surprise for me at the end. A long…oh my God, how long…boring…seemingly never ending scene. I kid you not, between the ending and the credits, its over 20 minutes long. The credits are terrible even! Instead of the traditional scrolling text, they opted to just show an airship floating around through clouds while occasionally showing a name or two at time. I mean, it is so uninteresting AND SO F-ING LONGGGGG!

And the game suddenly becomes obsessed with this woman you never even see in the game having a baby. Like towards the end, you go into this town you’ve been to a couple times before, and she’s all the people can talk about all of a sudden. Who is she and why should I care? She isn’t important to the story. She doesn’t do anything useful at all. And then when you beat the game, like 3 minutes of the ending scene is dedicated to this woman. Who is she? Is it just supposed to be some weird happy ending, symbolizing that things live on and grow in the aftermath of chaos? It’s just stupid.

So the game is pretty good until the last dungeon. That is the point I am trying to make I suppose.

To rank them from best to worst, I would say

FF2

FF4

FF6

FF5

FF4: The After Years

FF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Fantasy V=Annoying Game

Well, I’m back, here to talk about my experience with Final Fantasy V as I plow my way through most of the series. I’ve already spoken about 1, 2 and 4, and now I’ve got a bit to say about 5 as well.

To start, it’s not a horrible game, but it isn’t very good either. I like the story and the job system was kind of fun, albeit annoying at times. But it made for some fun customization options.

There isn’t too much to say about it that I haven’t already said with all the other games. By now I have realized that all these games have one great flaw. There is just so much annoying crap in them that it makes them very difficult to fully enjoy. This one is no exception. So I am going to single out what really made this game annoying.

That would be the last area in the game…

As per all the games, this place is loaded with difficult monsters that would love nothing more than to kill you most savagely. That’s not the real problem though. The problem is is that these monsters prefer you to be a zombie, a rock or a frog before they kill you. This is the most obnoxious thing about this game. Every monster seems to have the ability to turn you into one of these things. And the dungeon is very long, so you are constantly having to cure yourself of these ailments.

 

The rock and frog status isn’t horrible, for you can cure them with the Esuna spell, but it gets pretty taxing on your MP, so thank God I just happened to stock up on the curative items, Soft (cures rock) and Maidens’ Kiss (cures frog) throughout the whole game so that I had a crap ton to heal with. I stocked up on these because the last three games taught me that they would most likely come up to annoy the hell out of me, and I was right. But what I had not counted on was the newer zombie ailment. This can’t be cured by any spell other than using a cottage on a save point or sleeping at an inn. The only item that can cure it is Holy Water. I unfortunately did not stock up on these, so I only had 4 on me that I happened to find in chests.

So I painstakingly fight my way to the final boss, only to find that he loves using some spell that does a ton of damage to you, but worse, puts a random status effect on all characters. This is just great, for my first time through, I had used up all my Holy Waters, thus any characters that were zombified had to stay like that. And if you don’t know, this is a serious problem. A zombie character is basically dead, so you lose their attacks against the boss, but they don’t actually die, they instead attack you. And you or the enemy can’t kill them, they will be there forever. You can’t heal them if you don’t have Holy Water, so you are completely screwed and might as well reset the game at this point, because you won’t beat the boss.

So going through from where ever the last save point was, I made sure to keep my 4 Holy Waters. This meant that every time I was turned into a zombie I had to reset the game and try again. After like four tries, I finally made it to the boss and was able to cure all characters that turned into zombies.

This is a needless annoyance. What if I didn’t have any Holy Waters? I would have had to fight my way back out of the dungeon and then buy a bunch of them, and then redo the entire final area all over again! And that is something that just should not happen! Why do all of these games just have annoying, time consuming issues? This doesn’t make the game anymore challenging, it’s just cheap and unfair, stupid and a waste of time. The challenge in a game should not come from such cheap tricks. They are on their fifth game and they still have yet to figure that out!! They wouldn’t be such bad games, but my God! It eventually just gets so irritating that I may or may not look like this…angry.person

And one more thing that is super annoying in this game is the time it takes to bring up the menu. It takes about three seconds. This doesn’t sound like very long, but dear God, when your sitting there just waiting, it seems like much longer.  It takes a tad longer to exit the menu too. So it becomes very annoying.

But the dumbest thing of all about this game is the enemy counterattacks. This is nothing new in the series. Some enemies can counter any of your attacks with either spells or physical attacks. The counterattack would occur immediately after your attack. But not in this game. They would counter whenever they feel like it. And some of these counterattacks are devastating. In the older games, you could react by holding off on an attack or healing someone who was countered, but those simple strategies become obsolete in this game. They will randomly deploy their counterattacks in FF5. So say your guy hits an enemy that counters, you wait a bit, but he does not counter, so you attack again, still nothing, and then again. You’ve done 3 hits to the guy, but one of your characters hits twice in one attack, so that’s four hits to the enemy. After those four hits, he decides to counter with four attacks of his own…one for each hit he took. He will then use his normal attack as well. So that’s five hits coming at you at once. If the counter hits all your characters, there is an extremely high chance you will all die. If it a single person attack, he will likely take out 2 or 3 of your characters.

There seems to be no pattern to when they counter, it is just completely random, and many times have I died due to this horrible flaw.

Would I recommend this game to anyone?

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If I had to rank the games at this point, it would go as follows, from best to worst…

FFII

FFIV

FFV

FFIV: The After Years

FF

 

My Top 10 3DS Games

I enjoy looking at top 10 lists, especially when they involve video games and such. It got me wondering what my top “whatever” are, so here I am, looking into my top 10 favorite Nintendo 3DS games. By my count, I have 61 3DS games, but of those 61, I have only played 40 of them, the rest are on my backlog. So of those 40 games, let’s see what my 10 favorite are.

#10

new super mario bros 2New Super Mario Bros 2

 Nintendo

2012

 

This game took an interesting take on the New Super Mario Bros series, the focus being on collecting tons upon tons of coins, even including a few new power ups and items to help you. On top of that, it is a really great platformer that far surpasses the first New Super Mario Bros game for DS.

#9

mario and luigi dream teamMario & Luigi: Dream Team

Alphadream Corporation/Nintendo

2013

The fourth game in the unique RPG series is just as hilarious, creative and bizarre as the others. Mario has to jump into Luigi’s dreams to rescue some pillow people, and in the real world, the bros have their own mission to complete. The battle system is as fun as ever, with some really cool and creative attacks, especially in the dream world. A great game for the 3DS library.

#8

mario kart 7

Mario Kart 7

Retro Studios/Nintendo

2011

 

The first numbered game in the Mario Kart series is also the first game to incorporate gliding and underwater driving, two nice additions. Tons of new and old tracks, carts, characters and other customization options make this the first handheld Mario Kart game that feels like a home console game.

#7

PaperMarioStickerStar3DSBoxartFinalPaper Mario: Sticker Star

Intelligent Systems/Nintendo

2012

 

The first handheld Paper Mario game takes the series back to it’s roots, sort of, well actually not. It’s back to turn based action in any case. It now has a world map like Super Mario World, no doubt to cater to the quick, on the go play style of handheld games. To attack, you must collect stickers of all shapes and sizes, learning to balance the small, weak ones with the huge, powerful ones, for only so many can fit in your sticker book. You get more pages as the game progresses though. This makes for a lot of fun, and some of the stickers are very creative and entertaining. The only negative thing I can think of is this is one of those games that you never know where the heck you are going, and some of the puzzles are near impossible to figure out.

The 3D visuals for this style of graphics is remarkable as well. Paper Mario is a game that should never be played without 3D. Unfortunately this will likely be the only game to ever be graced with such wonders.

#6

yoshi_new_islandYoshi’s New Island

Arzest/Nintendo

2014

 

Am I living in the 90’s again? This game feels and plays exactly like Yoshi’s Island for SNES. And that…is a wonderful, wonderful thing. There is some new additions to the gameplay, differentiating it, but keeping the core mechanics the same. It is truly a great sequel to a masterpiece. The only thing bad about it is the name.

#5

project x zone.jpgProject X Zone

Banpresto/Namco Bandai Games

2013

 

All your favorite Sega, Capcom, and Namco-Bandai characters coming together to save the world (or worlds)? And with a side of countless scantily clad women and big bouncing boobs? How could you ever go wrong? Combine those exciting elements with  great grid based RPG gameplay and you can’t at all. This game is fantastic in nearly every way. It also provides around 50 hours of gameplay, so prepare to immerse yourself in something amazing!

#4

link-between-worlds

The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Nintendo

2013

I was surprised how good this game was. It is a sequel to the beloved Link to the Past, and does everything that game did right and added it’s own unique twists as well, such as the ability to traverse the dungeons in any order and turning into some painting figure. The game is a complete masterpiece, just like its predecessor.

#3

ocarina_3d_finalThe Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D

Grezzo/Nintendo

2011

 

What do you get when you take one of the best games of all time and update it? Well, an updated version of one of the best games of all time, plus it’s now in the palm of your hand! With improved controls via the touchscreen and gyro sensors, along with updated visuals and other changes, Ocarina of Time has never looked or played so well.

#2

kingdom hearts 3dKingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Square Enix

2012

 

This game plays just like all the other great Kingdom Hearts games, but this time you get to switch between Sora and Riku while they each progress through their own separate campaigns. The game features tons of new worlds, enemies and allies, and a new fighting mechanic known as flow motion. And story wise, this game is one of the best in the series, mainly because it finally answers all the questions that you might have had from all the other games and finalizes everything out and leaves only one unopened door. That door being the long awaited Kingdom Hearts 3. Everything else has been settled and the game ends with setting the scene for the third and most likely final game in this specific story arc.

#1

smash 3dsSuper Smash Bros for 3DS

Bandai Namco Games/Nintendo

2014

 

The fourth entry in the series proves to be the best, thanks to its huge and diverse roster of characters and stages. It is also a wonderful thing to have Smash in your pocket for whenever you wish to play it.

There are a ton of collectibles and trophies. The newest idea, and probably the worst, is the inclusion of somewhat different special moves for every original character, which is nice if that was something you were hoping to mess around with. The trouble is they are so tedious to collect. You will likely get the same ones 10 times over before getting one you don’t have. Aside from that, it’s the Smash Bros gameplay we all know and love. And to me, it’s all about the fighting, so the more characters and stages, the better the games. Who cares about all that single player fuzz? Though there is certainly a ton of it if that’s your thing.

This is the first Smash Bros game to include DLC as well. There are multiple characters and stages available, and countless Mii costumes, so the fun never stops.

There you have it, my favorite games in the 3Ds library, with Smash Bros being my favorite. Thanks for reading!

 

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Nintendo Switch-First Impressions

So this past Friday was a pretty relevant day. In case you haven’t heard, Nintendo’s newest console, the home/portable hybrid called Switch was released. Today, I just want to talk about the system itself. What I like and dislike, etc. And I must say, while it is exciting for any company to come out with a new system, it is a whole lot more exciting when it happens to be a Nintendo console, strictly because they offer something different, new and exciting. It gives gamers a chance to experience something they really haven’t before. It isn’t all about graphics. It’s about the experience, about the gameplay. I seem to be in the minority when I say, I buy video games to play them, not look at them.

Any who, let’s get back to talking about the Nintendo Switch.

To start off, I was amazed how small it is. Even though I knew how small it was from videos and such, I was still completely shocked, for it is much smaller in person than you would expect. The whole console is a screen slightly bigger than the screen of the Wii U Gamepad. I’ve actually seen some of the ridiculously large cell phones come close to the size of it. Once you slip on the Joy Con controllers, that adds like 2 inches (if that) to each side. That is your entire console. By far and away the smallest home console ever made. Placing it in the dock, which connects it to your TV, only fattens it up by another inch or two. So the whole console is roughly 9 inches long with the controllers connected, four inches high, and about 2 inches wide. Those are some nice dimensions.

It is welcome news for someone like me, who has an entertainment stand a bit on the small side. I’ve already got a Ps2, PS3, PS4, SNES, N64, 2 Wii’s, Wii U and a DVD Player hooked up to the TV and I’ve more or less run out of space to put anything else in there. The small size of the Switch couldn’t have come at a better time. I can easily fit it anywhere. It makes me pray that every console in the future should downsize. While the Switch isn’t the most powerful machine out there, it is mighty impressive how small they made it nonetheless. Microsoft and Sony should follow suit, downsizing the technology before throwing out these clunky machines, only to resell them smaller years later. But those slimmed down versions are monstrous compared to Switch.

Now I just talked about how small the console itself is, but what really is shocking is how small the controller is. And I’m talking about when you slide the Joy Cons on the controller dock to play it like a normal controller. It is this tiny little guy! It took a bit to get used to using it, because the buttons are closer together than normal. But after a minute or so, you get comfortable with it. Even playing with one tiny Joy Con becomes comfortable after a short while.

While there are many ways to play the Switch, my personal favorite is having the console docked to play on the TV and just holding each Joy Con in each hand, without the controller dock. It gives you a satisfying feeling of freedom. Imagine it is like the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, but without the wire tethering them together. You are not restricted to one space like you are using any other controller in the world either. You can rest your arms anywhere, have each hand in different positions and still play normally. This is especially welcome, since I have two cats that love to sit all over me when I play games, thus forcing me to move my controller to an awkward position to play around the cats, or having to adjust them so I can still play. Now, thanks to the freedom of the Joy Cons, I can have my arms where ever I want, and the cats can lay however or where ever they want.

And you know what else is small? The game cartridges. The cases are tiny, smaller even than a PSP game, or thinner, but taller than a 3Ds game case. And the actual cartridge is about half the size of a 3DS cartridge!

Now I haven’t had too much time to play around with the Switch, but I will talk about what I’ve noticed once the system is on.

Firstly, just connecting it was a problem because the included HDMI cord is too small. It’s about maybe three feet long, but when you have to weave the thing all over the place, it ended up being a few inches short.

So what’s it like when you turn it on? Right off, I don’t like how they set up the app selection in the main menu of the console. It is now like the PS4 or 3DS where everything is just lined up in one long line. I know in the 3DS you can change this to have multiple apps appear on screen in 4×4 blocks or more. I don’t know if you can do it on PS4 or not, but it’s really annoying to have to scroll through 20 different things to find an app or game you haven’t used in a while. I loved the method the Wii U and Wii used. There was like 16 apps or so on the screen. One button scrolled to the next page, where 16 more things would show up. I have a lot of digital games on my Wii U, and they are all confined to 3 or 4 pages. That’s close to 100 apps you can choose from in no time. With the Switch, it looks like you would have to scroll through each one, one by one until you find what you are looking for. I despise doing it in PS4, and I will here. You may be able to change this though, I haven’t looked into it yet.

Another thing that bothered me is there is no music in the main menu or on the eShop. The eShop itself is rather pitiful. You only have the option of buying 9 games, but hey it’s brand new, so I expect both the menu and especially the eShop to drastically improve once more games and updates come out.

Now speaking of games, how did the Switch do with launch titles? Well, I’ve got to say, it’s terrible. Zelda is the best launch title you could hope for, but other than that, there is nothing particularly a must have. There isn’t really anything at all. 1,2 Switch looks pretty cool, but the other games aren’t really my cup of tea, so whatever. What makes it worse, is Zelda isn’t even actually a true Switch title. It’s just a more advanced version of a Wii U game that was supposed to release almost 2 years ago! What were they doing this whole time? We’ve been hearing about the code name NX for like four years! They couldn’t make some good games for it by launch?

Lack of launch games don’t really bother me though. Games will come and when they do, I’ll get them. I don’t need to have everything right out of the gate, but it’s important to most people, so I thought I’d mention it.

But speaking of launch titles, this whole argument you can find between gamers on the internet with the importance of launch titles really cracks me up. Most anywhere, you will find someone say “I won’t waste $300 on a console with no games. I’ll wait until they come out with more before I buy it.” Or they’ll say things like this… especially pertaining to Wii U, “there aren’t enough games to justify buying the console.”

This argument really makes no sense. I understand what they mean, but it honestly translates to “I can’t waste $300 because it doesn’t come accompanied with 5-10 $60 games I can buy alongside it.” The other example with Wii U translates to “I don’t have money to waste on the console because there isn’t enough money for me to spend on it after I buy it to justify it.”

What sense does that make? If you aren’t going to jump into the console immediately, then yes, it is smarter to wait for a good bundle or price drops in games, but if the argument is you don’t want to waste money, that is just stupid. If you know you are going to buy it eventually and there are games you want, then you might as well get it. But to each his own. I don’t really care what people do, but don’t bash a console for stupid, nonsensical reasons.

Well, I’m getting off topic here. That is everything I have noticed with the short time I’ve used the Switch. It can only get better from here! If you are one of the people who want tons of games, then I would suggest waiting. If you don’t care, then pick one up, you won’t be sorry.

But remember, the more support for a console, especially early on, the more likely more games and support from developers there will be!

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Series Ranked: The Legend Of Zelda

Holy crap! In three weeks or so, we are getting the first brand new home console Zelda game for the first time in nearly 6 years! I am pumped, especially since it comes along with a brand new, amazing looking console! What more could you ask for? To celebrate the occasion, I will be ranking every Zelda game that I happen to own from worst to best. Don’t worry, I own nearly all of them, so the list is close enough to complete. After all, I can’t rate a game I have never played before, though that seems to be quite a common thing to do now by many gamers.

I have also ranked all the Nintendo Consoles, if you want to check that out.

But anyway, here is all the Zelda games I own, ranked worst to best. I will be listing also the console they were on, the year released and number of times I’ve beaten them, just so you can get an idea of how much I’ve played them.

#20 The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition  (DS, 2011)

 

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This is the only Zelda game that I have played that I can honestly say I didn’t like. But that’s really because it’s not really a Zelda game. You just run around with 4 Links and solve little puzzles and it’s over before you know it. It was really just a quick cash grab and a way to show off the multiplayer capabilities of the DS using a big franchise to draw people in. I honestly don’t remember too much about it though.

 

#19 Link’s Crossbow Training   (Wii, 2007)

Times Beaten-1

Again, this is not a real Zelda game, but a bonus game that came packaged with the Wii Zapper, which was a gun shaped device that allowed you to insert the Wii Remote and nunchuk into it so that shooter games could be played more…realistically I suppose! Nothing gets you higher than really feeling like blasting away people.

Anyway, this game was surprisingly a lot of fun. It’s very short, but it manages to give you a feel for the Zapper, and having a good time in doing so. The developers put a lot of effort into such a small project, and that is always a great thing to see.

#18 The Legend Of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass  (DS, 2007)

Times Beaten-1

Our first actual Zelda game on the list. This is the only real Zelda game I can say I almost don’t like. It was just annoying to always go into some tower, avoiding some evil mist and Darknuts while finding special lantern fuel or whatever. I haven’t played it in a very long time, and am honestly in no hurry to do so again. But it is not a bad game by any means.

#17 Zelda II: The Adventure of Link  (NES, 1988)

Times Beaten-1

This is the black sheep of the Zelda family. It changed up the formula to a sidescrolling RPG. It’s hard as hell, but very rewarding. The challenge comes from losing all your XP when you die, but if you manage to level, you can pick various stats to level up. It actually is quite a fun game.

#16 The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask  (N64, 2000)

 

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If Zelda 2 was the black sheep, consider this the half-black sheep. This came out a mere year after Ocarina of Time to capitalize on the success of that game. What we got was something completely different, and quite good given the short development time. Instead of collecting tons of items, you collect masks instead (while still getting a large variety of items anyway). Each mask gives you some new type of ability or has some other effect. Some masks turn you into beloved Hylian races that you can go around and kill stuff with. It’s a unique twist on the Zelda formula and keeps up with the time traveling aspect born in Ocarina of Time. It is probably one of the hardest Zelda games too. This all being said, I wasn’t really wowed by this game, however enjoyable it is. I may have only beaten it twice, but I’ve played through more or less half of it at least two other times, each time liking it more and more.

#15 The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle Of Ages  (Game Boy Color, 2001)

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Nintendo pulled a pokemon with this game, releasing a sibling alongside it. The story is driven away from the main “rescue Zelda” bit, dealing with other villains and the like as well. This game has a focus on puzzle solving, and let me tell you, some of them are indeed quite tricky! This game included tons of new and returning items, and the ability to switch to different ages. Lot of fun!

 

#14 The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons  (Game Boy Color, 2001)

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Released alongside “Ages,” this was more or less the same game, but with a different villain, different oracle, and instead of traveling through ages, you could change the seasons. The items may have been a little different too. Another great game, this time more focused on action than puzzle solving. If linked with “ages” it would unlock a new dungeon where you could fight Ganon.

 

#13 The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks   (DS, 2009)

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This game was very similar to Phantom Hourglass, except a whole lot better. Driving around in customizable trains was a great idea and made traveling sort of fun. I don’t really remember too much about it, but I know I really liked it. Playing the flute thing you got was really cool too.

#12 The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX   (Game Boy Color, 1998)

Times Beaten-2

The original game for the Game Boy was the first handheld Zelda game. And let me tell you, they came out swinging. It is an amazing game that is every bit as fun now as it was 20 years ago. I used to have it, but I don’t know what happened to it. But that is okay, because the Director’s Cut version made it all much better. The added color allowed for new tunics found in a “color dungeon” as well as some other minor adjustments. The game has a ton of content for such an old game and can keep you busy for hours on end. It took the incredible fun of the first Zelda game and made the transition onto handheld flawlessly.

#11 The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker   (Gamecube, 2003)

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This is another unique Zelda game, but not so much in the gameplay aspect of it. It’s story and setting are what really set it apart. It is a lot of fun and the cel shaded graphics are gorgeous. There are a bunch of new races included, as well as some familiar ones. The amount of content is enormous, spread out over the equally big world. That is where the problem with this game comes in too. The world takes forever to travel on, and collecting the maps and pieces of the Triforce is awfully tedious.

#10 The Legend of Zelda   (NES, 1987)

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Holy crap! If ever there was a game that was ahead of it’s time, aspiring and/or innovative, this was it. For the time, this game was massive and unique. Nothing had ever been done remotely close to this. It was a huge undertaking and blew everyone away. Like seriously, the only game that could come close to being as amazing as this for the time is Super Mario Bros. 3. But that was the fourth game in that series and this was the first. It is still just as fun today, and honestly, it holds up to the standards of today’s games as well. It is truly a masterpiece and the best game to come out of the 80’s.

#9 The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap   (Game Boy Advance, 2005)

Times Beaten-1

I am not going to lie, I don’t remember much about this game, other than that it is really good, it has like an origin story to it, and a fun shrinking ability which makes puzzle solving and exploration a lot of fun. A very solid game.

#8 The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds   (3DS, 2013)

Times Beaten-1

Say hello to the best handheld Zelda game. My goodness, it is good. Lots of new items, some weird, new renting system for the items, a fabulous story, and great gameplay. It is essentially a remake of A Link to the Past, and actually is a linear sequel. Really wonderful game. It falls just short of its prequel however.

 

#7 The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past  (SNES, 1992)

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Heh, funny to see I have only bothered to beat this game 3 times, when I must have at least started new games like 15 times over the years. I had commitment issues as a small child.

Anyway, this game did for it’s generation what the first Zelda did for the 80’s. This game floored everybody. I still remember playing it for the first time and being completely blown away. It took what made the first game perfect and improved upon that perfection. Tons more items, a larger map to explore, all sorts of new tricks and people. It was just crazy. The story was a bit deeper for back then as well, always pushing you to the next challenge, anxious to see what happens next, what new item you will find and how you would get to use it. Just awesome…

#6 The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess   (Gamecube, 2006)

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Breath of the Wild is in a very similar situation to the one Twilight Princess was in. It got delayed for about two years and then was released on Gamecube, and as a launch title for the brand new Wii. But whereas both versions of BotW are coming out at the same time, they actually released the Gamecube version a few months later to push Wii sales. But if you were like me, it took about a year to actually get hold of a Wii, so I gave up and bought it on Gamecube. I was really looking forward to this game and was not disappointed. There was tons of new features, a unique and beautiful graphical style, and just an overall great atmosphere to it. This game also features some of my favorite dungeon designs, for they sort of varied from past games.

#5 The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD   (Wii U, 2013)

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This game is phenomenal. It took everything that made the original version annoying and remedied it. It fixed every little issue, making this one of the best Zelda games ever. I couldn’t believe how much better it was. The gamepad made accessing maps and items very quick and easy as well. Suddenly a game I was not that crazy about became one of my favorites. And the cel shaded visuals are just stunning in HD.

#4 The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time   (N64, 1998)

Times Beaten-Around 10

Nintendo did it once again. They took everyone by surprise and completely blew away everyone’s expectations. Just like Zelda and Link to the Past, this game was something truly ambitious and unheard of. And it also is incredibly fun to this day. Tons of items, songs, locations and people make this one to remember. The best part is the time travel however. Being able to play as Young Link and Adult Link is such a great feature that makes any of the other games have a hard time comparing to it.

#3 The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time Master Quest   (Gamecube, 2003)

Times Beaten-2

If I remember correctly, this was a preorder bonus for The Wind Waker. Much better than today’s “bonuses” I must say. Needless to say, I preordered it immediately. The master quest is essentially the same game, except with much more difficult puzzles in it. It was a breath of fresh air, playing one of my favorite games with new adjustments to it. It was truly a great feeling. So that is why it tops the original.

#2 The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D   (3DS, 2011)

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A classic game that benefits from updated visuals, slight motion control and a touchscreen? Obviously this is the best version. It makes quite a few improvements to a masterpiece. Ocarina of Time just continues to shine through and through.

#1 The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword  (Wii, 2011)

Times Beaten-1

Here it is, the best Zelda of all time. Thanks to the Wii’s motion controls, it put Link’s sword and shield in your hands. Though the controls were a bit tricky to figure out, once you learned how to hold the controllers and how to move them, it was a breeze, making for some truly satisfying gameplay. There was a great story and the Loftwing’s were a lot of fun to travel on. Lots of cool and memorable characters, both ally and villain, made the game even better. And this game actually had challenging fights in it. Most 3D Zelda games were quite easy, focusing more on puzzle solving than action. This had a nice balance of both. Tons of brand new items were thrown in the mix as well, along with a new upgrade system for most of your items. I never thought any game would top Ocarina, but this game just makes it feel so dated.

Skyward Sword truly has a unique feel, while having that familiarity as well. As do all the games for that matter. That is what makes them so good. That is why we all crave for another release, for Breath of the Wild looks to fit that formula perfectly. I also love how every game has that awesome gold cover to it, just holding that in your hands gives you a great feeling.

So there you have it. If memory serves correct, the only games I was missing in this list were TriForce Heroes, Link’s Awakening, Twilight Princess HD, Majora’s Mask 3D and Four Swords Adventure.

 

 

Final Fantasy-How Did This Game Spawn Countless Sequels?

I am here to rant about a game most people have heard of… Final Fantasy. That’s right, I’m talking about numero uno! The one that started it all back on the NES in 1990. For the time where there wasn’t much expectation and they were still trying to get the genre down, I suppose it was a pretty good game. But I am saying that very loosely. There shouldn’t have been any reason to ever make a sequel to this, much less at least 20 others, though sequel really isn’t the best word since most of them have nothing to do with the rest.

Anyway, before I start my rant, I just want to give you my history with Final Fantasy. The first one I ever played was when I was back in grade school, Final Fantasy 8 for PlayStation. It was a pretty sweet game, and though it’s been well over a decade since I’ve played it, I remember enjoying it. Only problem is once I was about to beat the first disc, the game froze and I could never get past it. What a piece of junk!

Then I got Final Fantasy 7 a little after that, and I enjoyed that too, though I had commitment issues as a child and never finished it. I played for a while, then stopped for a few years, then played again and stopped again and have never gone back to it.

Oh yeah, and I also played an emulated version of Final Fantasy 3 for SNES for about 20 minutes, but never went back to it for whatever reason.

Since that time, a billion other games have come out with the title “Final Fantasy” and the only one I ever got was Crystal Chronicles for Gamecube and actually played it quite a bit, though again, I never beat it. Came close though.

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Anywho, throughout my life I have watched these games spew out and watched people rave about them. I began to wonder if I was really missing out on one of the greatest series in gaming history. So naturally, I decided to get back into the games, but starting from the beginning. Soon after I made this decision, the PlayStation store was kind enough to hold a Final Fantasy sale, and I was able to pick up 1, 2, 4,5,6 and 9. I already have 7 and 8, so I didn’t bother rebuying them. Later I got 3 and 13 on Steam.

And by the way, if you are like me and are trying to figure out which games to buy, it is quite confusing. The original versions are all numbered in a non-sequential way, for most of them were never released outside of Japan. It wasn’t until recently that they rereleased them all and renamed them the numbers they actually are supposed to be. So the FF 3 I played briefly is now officially Final Fantasy 6. It’s a confusing mess and I was nervous I was going to buy the same game twice, just with different titles. It also doesn’t help that each game has been rereleased like three times. It’s a nightmare.

Anyway, I have now finally set out on my Final Fantasy adventure, and just like I wanted to, I started from the very beginning. Though I have the updated version from Final Fantasy Origins on PlayStation, so it scares me to think that the original version is even more inferior.

So finally, what are my gripes about the game? Where to begin? Let me start off by saying, it has the potential to be a good game, but there are so many unnecessary annoying things about it that completely ruin it for me.

Let’s start with something I experienced in the very first minute of the game that set the tone for one of the most annoying games ever.

I walked into the first town and many of the people just block your path. There are many tight paths that only one person can fit through, and there are just all these jerk faces standing in my way. I shouldn’t have to wait for these idiots to move before I can proceed! And sometimes they move and I start to go, and then they quick move with lightning speed to block your path again. What crap programming! And there is an item shop that always has some douche blocking the door. I deal with idiot people standing in my way enough in real life, I don’t need it in a game too!

And that is nothing compared to the last town in the game, Lufenia or something. The entire town is practically a one person-width town and it takes forever to push your way through, having to wait every second for someone to walk over to a spot where the road widens and then move out of they way! The spell shops are kind of hidden, and I missed them at first. It wasn’t until I looked it up that I knew how to get them. But it was no wonder I missed them, because they are far off to the side where you have to follow a one person wide path, but I missed it because some guy was always standing in it, and he was nowhere near a two-wide path. So it’s no wonder I missed them. I had to wait close to 5 minutes for his old scraggly ass to move. What the fudge!

There are even sometimes bats in caves and such that love to fly in your way, forcing you to walk around them. This wouldn’t be quite so bad, but every extra step you take is a huge risk of being caught in an enemy encounter, which brings me to my next complaint…

There are a relentless amount of enemy encounters. This is far from the only game with this issue, but I don’t care about those game right now.Rarely do I get to take more than five steps without getting into a fight. This drives me crazy! Especially when you are trying to explore a dungeon and get lost. You never have time to figure out where you are going because you are constantly being bombarded with enemies to ever remember where you have been and haven’t been yet. Like, it’s crazy. And most fights aren’t exactly easy either!ff-nin

So let’s talk about all the issues I have during fights. There are quite a few!

First off and most importantly are your characters. I picked the warrior, thief, white mage and black mage. Of these four only the warrior is good. The other three are entirely useless. And I mean USELESS! Seriously, you could not beat this game and even beat more than two enemy encounters without the warrior.

The warrior has high physical attack power and high defense. Throughout the game, he can kill almost anything in one hit and he also takes very little damage. He rarely ever misses his attacks too. He’s a real stand up fellow.

The other three are just a huge liability. They miss 8 out of 10 physical attacks, and do hardly any damage when they actually connect. The mages don’t have high armor value, so they take a ton of damage, thus they can die very quickly.

Now you might be thinking, “well mages are supposed to use magic,” which is all well and fine, but this game limits your magic to the extreme. Instead of having mana or MP or anything like that, they give you spell levels. Each mage can learn three spells per level, and each level has its own set of charges. So say my black mage knows fire, lightning and some debuff spell, each a level 2 spell. By the time you buy these spells, you probably have about three charges for this spell level, meaning you can only use any of these spells 3 times. And not three times each, mind you…if you use fire, your charge drops to 2, then if you use lightning, it drops to 1, etc.

So basically you have to save your spells for really tight situations. The higher your level, the more charges you can gain, but that’s useless. The most charges you can get is 9 for each spell level.But by the time you get a decent amount of charges, those spells have no relevance anymore, meaning they are all too weak against enemies now, so why would you ever use any of those spells? My point is, your useful spells will always be limited to 2-4 charges before you and the enemies outgrow their effectiveness.ff-char

So yeah, all the characters are just there to inconvenience you. The tempting route is to just let the useless ones die and let the warrior soak up all the experience. He hardly ever takes more than 2 damage, so he is just a killing machine. But you want your other party members to level, so you do all you can to keep them alive, which is more annoying than it needs to be.

Healing is so stupid in this game. My white mage has all sorts of healing spells, but again the charges are so limited they aren’t very helpful, and even when you do use them, they only heal like a fifth of your HP. Your main way of healing is potions. But here’s the kicker. The potions only heal like 15-30 hp, and when your party has 300-600 HP and each battle the useless ones stand to lose 50-150, you have to use an awful lot of potions. So you have to constantly spend around 3,000-5,000 gil (the currency) to restock potions. Having 99 at all times is a must, for it takes 10-15 potions to bring the HP up of a severely damaged character. And you can never buy any more potent potions either. It’s always those. No high potions or super potions or anything like that. What a bunch of crap!

And speaking of potions, you better stock up on a crap ton of antidotes too, because like all old rpg’s, this game loves poison. I would venture to say that at least 60% of the enemies in the game can poison you. And the only way to cure poison is with antidotes. It is so annoying. And what’s worse…antidotes cost much more than potions, though I only usually carry around 25 with me at all times, so buying as many is not required.

Going back to annoying things about battling is the turn order. It seems to be completely random, but I swear it works to your disadvantage all the time. If you are fighting a big group of enemies, (6-9) you will more than likely need to cast a spell to do a lot of damage to them quickly. But your caster will likely go last, so if he is the target by most of the enemies he will die, leaving you with a much longer battle. Or even if he doesn’t die, it’s annoying to watch all the enemies attack you while you wait for your most important attacks to go off. Not to mention you might kill an enemy or two, making you feel like you wasted your precious spell charge. The warrior and his one shot will almost always go last too.

What is annoying is I swear the enemies you target will attack before the ones you don’t. Most of the time, I will select my targets. The ones I selected will all “happen” to attack first. Then my party will go and kill the ones that just attacked. Then all the remaining enemies attack me. What the hell? Why can’t I ever get lucky and kill an enemy before it attacks! The game cheats in that way. And what’s more. When the enemies finish out a round, you think “Oh, good, my guys will go now and finish them off.” Nope. More often than not, the enemies will attack twice in a row, once at the end of the last round, and once in the beginning of the next round, just to sneak in that last attack before they die. What bull crap!

The damage you receive is random as all hell to. I know it is supposed to be, since its an rpg and all, but this takes it to a whole new level. Like I said, my warrior will generally take 2 damage, and my other guys about 30-60 in your average fight from one hit. You start to rely on that formula to know when you heal or not, but then eventually it just will throw you for a loop. My warrior will randomly take 50 damage and the others over 100! And that isn’t even when the enemies land critical hits either. It just randomly will devastate you with the same attack that barely hurt you last round.

Another annoying thing are “enemy first strikes” which means all of them will go in advance before you can even input your commands. This happens in many rpgs and that’s fine, but it happens wayyyyyyy t0o often. I would say once every five fights or so. And it seems like forever when a group of 9 enemies gets first strike. On more than once occasion, I ran into enemy first strikes three times in a row!

There are preemptive strikes where your party can attack in advance, but that only happens about once every 20 fights. Fair, right? And the best part is there are instant death traps that take advantage of the enemy first strikes. You will be walking along a dungeon and a random encounter will occur with enemy first strike. Then they will all use instant death moves and it’s game over. Just like that, there is nothing you can do about it. What is the point of that? It doesn’t add to the challenge and improve upon the game in anyway. It makes you just want to quit the game because it’s so cheap, pointless and just a waste of time! Thus with this always being a threat you have to “memo save” which is just a temporary save for you to restart at if you die, after every battle. How annoying is that?

And when a party member dies, the only way to revive them is to bring them to a town with a church and pay a butt load of gil to revive them. The white mage can eventually learn a revive spell, but if she’s the one who dies, you’re screwed. And you’ll want to save all the charges for the revive, so using any other spell on that level is out of the question.

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If you’re in a dungeon and the white mage dies, now you have to make your way out to get to a town, fighting enemies every five steps. You don’t have enough HP to fight everything and you want to get out as fast as possible, so you start running from every fight. This tactic will lead to all your party dying except the warrior, who is too slow to run from fights. So you will sit, having to solo fight every enemy that comes along, killing them one by one. This is really fun when fighting 9 enemies, just having to wait for 9 attacks, before killing one guy, then waiting for 8 attacks and so on. You just want to die so you can restart at your memo save, but it is just faster to fight and make your way back than to wait for something to kill you, for when you have 400 HP, and they take away 1-2, it takes a long time. But even if you do run, you end up dying like right in front of a town anyway. It’s really great.

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And what is really terrifying to think about is that I guarantee the memo save is a feature added to the PS version of the game, meaning the original is probably nearly impossible to beat unless you grind the fudge out of every dungeon and have an enormous amount of patience.

“UPDATE”

I learned that you can press L1, L2, R1, R2, Start and Select to reset the game in a way where you don’t lose your memo save. This improves things slightly. SLIGHTLY!!!

Eventually, my thief became somewhat useful, and by the end of the game, he is almost as good as the warrior, but the other two suck unless I need them to perform a spell. But as I said, you are so limited to how many times you can use them that you will do everything in your power not to use a spell. You get to upgrade your character classes, which other than making them all look cooler and allowing the thief to equip heavier armor, more or less does nothing at all.

But those are my beefs with this game so far. Thankfully, I have finally beaten it. Honestly, it is not the worst game out there, but boy is it annoying, and stupid, and bad. I can’t believe this trash is what spawned the biggest franchise in video game history.

Here’s to hoping the second one is a vast improvement. Though I am doing nothing but dreading it right now…

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